Employee Benefits and Retaining Team Members
Surveys from recruitment agencies and exit interviews still show that one of the main reasons employees leave a company is due to inadequate salaries or benefits. However, it's not just about the salary anymore in a diverse workforce. Research shows that recruiting and retaining high-calibre team members is easier when you offer an attractive benefits package. So, although it might seem expensive, the long-term advantages usually outweigh the costs. Offering a range of benefits can improve motivation and productivity and enhance employees’ work-life balance. All of which makes for a happier, healthier team. A healthier happier team can only bring benefits to the employer, not to mention saving for the employer in less disruption with team member changes and the costs of recruiting replacements. When we think of employee benefits, we usually think of pensions, maybe some health insurance… but there is a raft of other benefits that can be offered to employees. It may even be better to have a sort of “benefits menu” to allow team members to choose the benefits they want – particularly key across a diverse workforce where employees will have different motives and objectives as to what they would want.
Types of Benefits
So, let's look at some of the main types of benefits that an employer might offer the employees:
- Protection type offerings providing protection for your employees and their family in the event of ill health, accident or death, these types of policies are usually much valued by employees with families. Such policies would include:
- Group Life Assurance – a life assurance policy that pays out a lump sum to beneficiaries following the death of an employee. The employer pays for it without any tax implications for the individual
- Group Income Protection – this policy provides a monthly income for employees who are off work through sickness or injury. Employers can provide different groups of employees with different levels of cover and there are no tax implications for their employees
- Group Critical Illness - Designed to provide financial support to employees suffering from a defined injury or illness. The cover is normally a multiple of salary and this policy pays a tax-free sum, after a survival period which can be used as the employee sees fit.
- Health and Wellbeing by providing your employees with a well-structured health and wellbeing strategy, the employer is not only showing them that they care but can also be sure that, should they need treatment or an operation, they will be treated quickly and efficiently to minimise any absence from work:
- Private Medical Insurance - A highly valued benefit that ensures your employees receive medical treatment at a time and location convenient for them. NHS waiting lists are bypassed meaning your employees are treated quicker resulting in a speedier return to work
- Health Cash Plans - For relatively minimal cost, you can provide your employees with the ability to claim cashback on routine health expenses such as dental check-ups, contact lenses, physiotherapy, chiropractor and many more. Unlike Private Medical Insurance there is no GP referral needed so treatment can be carried out immediately.
- Dental Insurance - According to research, over 400,000 working days are lost in the UK due to employees’ oral health. Due to its unpredictable nature, this absence is usually at short notice. By offering your employees access to dental insurance to pay for both routine and more complex dental treatment, you could see a significant reduction in your absenteeism.
The Flexible Benefits Option
We now live in a world of the 4G workforce. This means we have four generations working together at the same time for the first time. Baby boomers, Generations X and Y (and now Gen Z). Our employees are all different (it would be boring if they weren’t) so it’s not hard to conceive that the benefits that one generation views as important could be way down on the list of priorities of another. Baby Boomers could be far more concerned about their pensions and medical benefits whereas Generations X, Y and Z could see Life Assurance, Gym Membership or Childcare Vouchers as a higher priority. Providing a Flexible Benefits scheme allows each and every one of your employees to choose the benefits that are right for them (and for their family) at the right time of their life. This will vastly improve their engagement with you, meaning a happy, healthy and appreciative workforce. The range of benefits that can be included in a flexible benefits package is almost endless but the following are some of the more typical:
- Company pension
- Childcare Vouchers
- Income Protection
- Gym Membership
- Cycle to Work
- Critical Illness
- Cars by Salary Sacrifice
- Medical Insurance
- Life Assurance
- Travel Insurance
- Health Cash Plans
- High Street Discounts
- Annual Leave Trading
It is fair to say that most companies, irrespective of size or industry type, offer their employees some form of benefits in addition to their salary. This may be a pension contribution, as a result of Auto Enrolment, or the protection from a Group Life or Income Protection scheme. It is also fair to say that employees don’t necessarily appreciate or value these additional benefits as they may just concentrate purely on their monthly payslips. By implementing a Total Reward Strategy, and possibly looking at a Flexible Benefits Package you can show your employees that they are worth far more to you than just their basic salary which in turn will increase their engagement and appreciation.
If you would like any further information or advice on implementing a Total Reward Strategy, we work closely with Tavistock Employee Benefits so contact your Relationship Partner for a free no-obligation review.